Notorious Prisons in the USA – Alcatraz

23 Nov, 2016//Posted by : aebbvelocityloca//Category : blog

The legal system is a complex and often imperfect system. It encompasses so many different industries, that it is sometimes hard to keep track of all of them. Bail bondsmen are just a cog in the big wheel that is the US judicial system. If you find yourself in need of bail bonds in Carlsbad, you can count on Affordably Easy Bail Bonds agency to help you out.

Another important although less joyous part of the legal system, are prisons. This text is about one of the most infamous prisons in the US history. And it is located right here, in California. I am talking about the island penitentiary of Alcatraz.


As mentioned previously, the prison itself is located on an island; the Alcatraz Island to be precise. The island lies in San Francisco Bay, some 1.2 miles off the west coast of the USA, right across the bay from the city of San Francisco.

Military origins

The island was originally home for a lighthouse, due to the common and thick fogs SF is known for. In the 1850s a military citadel was built on the island. In 1861, it began to serve as a temporary military camp at the onset of the American Civil War in 1861. The definitive purpose to the island was given in 1868, when it was assigned as a long term military prison. Prisoners held here in this early stage of its history were mainly captured Confederate prisoners. After the Indian wars, the population of the citadel became mainly Native Americans who fought in the wars. Finally, after the Spanish American war, the population increased with fresh prisoners of war.


In 1907, the citadel officially ceased to exist and the fort was renamed to Pacific Branch US Military Prison. The prison saw another surge in the number of inmates during and immediately following World War 1. The old cell blocks were demolished, and a new building with over 600 cells was built during this time.

Transfer to Federal authorities

In the 1930s, with the Great Depression and the escalation in crime rates, a motion was passed to cede the control over the island and the prison to the Federal Bureau of Prisons. Both sides agreed on the terms and in 1934, the military prison became a civilian one.


Right from the start, the prison was marked as a maximum security facility, where only the worst of the worst go. A strict Code of Silence was imposed on prisoners, where they weren’t permitted to speak to each other. There were rumors and accounts of torture by the guards. Physical confrontations and murders among the prisoners were common, which elicited solitary confinement from the guards. The most notorious inmate of Alcatraz prison was without a doubt Al Capone, the famous Chicago mobster of 1920s.

The escape from Alcatraz

Being an island in a bay full of treacherous undercurrents, the island penitentiary was notoriously resistant to escape attempts. Still, there is one successful breakout attempt. In 1962, a group of inmates managed an elaborate escape, but it is unclear whether they made it to shore, or they drowned in the Bay.

The end

The prison was immensely costly and the infrastructure was in disrepair. The choice between expensive repairs and building a new cheaper prison was easy enough for the authorities, and the prison was closed in 1963. To this day the name Alcatraz is synonymous with dread and harsh and inhumane conditions.

Luckily, this infamous correctional facility is long closed and turned into a museum. Still, you don’t want to spend any more time in any prison than you must. If you need to be bailed out of a prison fast, contact Affordably Easy Bail Bonds 24/7 at 877 282 BAIL (2245). Bail bonds in Carlsbad or any part of San Diego County are just a phone call away. We also speak Spanish, to make it easier to our Hispanic neighbors to find help.

877.282.BAIL (2245)


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